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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Portland finances: The canary dies

If Portland's financially blind electorate needs any further sign that the city government is careening toward bankruptcy, here's an interesting tidbit from today's Willy Week:

[O]n Wednesday, City Council will vote whether to allow Commissioner Nick Fish’s Bureau of Parks & Recreation to borrow $3.8 million for maintenance projects.
Borrowing to pay maintenance costs? The end is near, people. Go by streetcar!

Comments (14)

maybe we can get Cravath to recommend someone local who will do our Chapter 9 for free:


And the beauty of it is that it's a win-win for Fritz; she gets to "question the timing" of the expense, but doesn't have to actually do anything about it. She can appear to be a government expense watchdog without all the uncomfortable taking action part.

Adams will vote yes for anything like this. Leonard, too. Saltzman will say "gee, we need to keep an eye on spending", then vote yes.

Even more outrageous is the Parks Bureau's never ending appetite to use general fund dollars to build more and more new projects -- maintenance intensive projects -- while being utterly unable to maintain what it has.

The latest iteration to the "Red Electric Trail" project in project rich Hillsdale in SW envisions a ped / bike only bridge over a deep ravine, to be paid for jointly and with PBOT.

Its a nice "Gee whiz, if I only had an extra hundred million in my back pocket" fantasy, in a city where we can't maintain already ecisting bridghes and overpasses or upgrade them to meet current earth quake standards, but there is a never ending ambition for and supply of funding for new elitist toys.

Are you listening, Amanda. I know you are reading.

This is like a homeowner paying for lawnmowing or gutter cleaning with their Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). It doesn't make your house more productive, and you're paying finance charges on routine maintenance (done once) OVER THE LIFE OF THE LOAN.

I really expected more fiscal accountability from Commissioner Fish.

What's the point of WW reporting this stuff when they do all they can to support those who perpetrate it?

More egregious than the money is the spraying of pesticides in our parks and water sheds in the name of removing invasive species and improving water quality. Look at the Tabor to the River project and the Mt. Tabor Invasive Plant Control and Revegetation Project as an example: http://www.portlandonline.com/bes/index.cfm?c=53192&

Somebody's dream is surely over:

When will we ever have a commissioner that will have fiscal common sense and say it, and vote it?

I thought Amanda would, I thought Fish might, I once thought Saltzman would, I once thought Leonard might, and Sammy?-"we have no fiscal problems, our bond ratings are great".

Surely there are some "cost savings" from a totally unrelated department that can pay for this.

Or I know! Declare an urban renewal area that covers every park property in town!

Parks needs to borrow $3.8 million for maintenance projects and
Bureau of Development Services wants a $4.4 million bank loan for a new electronic permitting system!!

So they don’t have money for basics, but they want to buy new stuff??

They must be in denial.

Don't know about them being in denial,
but they are certainly in muddy waters.

We have a great place for your city council to come for a retreat.
Just south of the Oregon border called Denio, Nevada

The council can't go to Denio, Nevada.

Sam banned out of state travel.

Sam also banned consultant contracts.

Sam's saving the City money.

We all know that the consultant contracts have just withered away to nothing since Sam's ban.



Surely Sam wouldn't have lied to us?

Sam can’t deny going to Denio!

Denio, Nevada is an unincorporated community that lies on the Nevada-Oregon state line in Humboldt County, Nevada and Harney County, Oregon, in the United States.
The community is also known as Denio, Oregon.

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